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Marketing the Market
Encouraging SNAP usage at Farmers Markets
What is the EBT program at Markets?
 Central terminal system
 Market is authorized as a SNAP retailer on behalf of all farmers
and vendors in the market.
 Uses one terminal in a central
location, marked by a banner
 Consumers receive tokens as
EBT scrip
Benefits of a Central System
 Creates a larger pool of vendors accepting SNAP benefits =
More Choice for consumers
 Tokens make sales faster for farmers in a busy market
Bottom Line:
This system makes fresh, healthy and locally grown food
accessible to low income consumers.
How do customers use their benefits?
It’s Simple!
1. Find the market banner to
locate the EBT terminal.
2. 2. Swipe your benefits card
and exchange benefits for
wooden EBT tokens.
3. Use tokens as cash on
SNAP eligible product with
any farmer or vendor
displaying their signs:
“Tokens Accepted Here”
What are tokens?
 SNAP scrip – they are used, same as cash, on SNAP eligible
products in the market
Each token is market specific and should only be used at the
market where it was purchased
Most tokens are $1 in value, with a few $5 tokens at the
larger markets
No change can be given.
They cannot be exchanged for cash
They have NO expiration date and can be used at any time
Unused tokens may also be returned and benefits placed back
in the customer’s benefit account
What about the farmers?
 Farmers operate under the Market’s SNAP certification by
accepting SNAP scrip.
 They accept tokens on any SNAP eligible product.
 No change can be given, so farmers will add extra product to
bring the sale to an even dollar amount
 Farmers redeem tokens through the market whenever
convenient to them, receiving the full face value of the token.
Your role as a Service Provider
Build Awareness with your clients
 Ongoing dialogue with
clients discussing the benefits
of shopping at farmers
 Use information from and
 Distribute EBT brochures
developed by the Federation
 Hold informational meetings
2. The discussion:
 Benefits of Shopping at farmers markets:
 Greater variety of local produce
 Fresher, more flavorful and more nutritious
 Meet the farmers
 Support a local economy
More of the discussion
 Tips for shopping at a farmers market:
 Bring a reusable tote bag
 Browse the market before making your decision.
 Base your decisions on quality rather than on price
 Bring a cooler to keep your purchases fresh until you get home
 Come early for the best selection
 Talk to the farmers – they have a wealth of information to share
 Encourage your children to get involved in making buying
And still more discussion
 What to expect at the market;
 Wide variety of fruits and vegetables – in SEASON!
 Local meats
 Artisan cheeses
 Farmer produced sauces, jams and
jellies, salsa, ect
 Local honey and maple products
 Baked goods
 And More!!!
 Food, Fun and Family
Above picture, courtesy of Margaret Moulton
3. Listen to the concerns voiced
 “Markets are too expensive”
 Price comparisons show markets to be comparably priced and
often less expensive than supermarkets
 In-season produce is usually cheaper and can be purchased in
bulk to preserve for out-of-season use
 The variety of produce exceeds a supermarket, so many things
will only be available at a farmers market
 Coupon incentive programs help to make markets even more
Additional Concerns
 “Market hours are not convenient”
 While that may be true, the atmosphere and experience of
shopping at a farmers market outweighs the inconvenience
 Meeting the growers only happens at farmers markets
 Learn more about the products, such as how to
properly choose the best, recipes, storing and
preserving hints and tips
 Ask about production methods
 Special events within the market make the
trip a family event
And still more concerns
 “There is no public transportation to the market”
 Many markets are not located on a public transit route
 Many communities across New York State do not have public
 Help your clients to find alternative transportation
 Housing Authority buses
 Community Center vans
 Talk to your public transit authority to get the market on a scheduled
4. Make the Connection
 Help your clients navigate the market and use their benefits:
5. Encouraging the Connection
 Plan a market field trip
 Play farmers market bingo
 Arrange transportation
 Conduct workshops to
show how to use farmers
market purchases
 Create a summer calendar
with market days and times
 Distribute seasonal recipes
Providing Assistance to Markets
Encourage SNAP participation
 Meet with market managers in your region
 What does SNAP mean for the market
 Pledge your assistance:
 Help with the application process
 Agree to assist with on-site
 Facilitate connections with community
organizations to provide assistance:
 Administrative assistance
 Promotional support
 Client referrals
Farmers Market Application Process
NYS Farmers Market Wireless EBT Program
3 Step Process:
Complete the Farmers Market Wireless EBT Participation
2. Apply for USDA application for SNAP certification
3. Complete application for POS terminal
Participating markets receive:
 No-cost wireless POS terminal
 Supply of tokens
 Market banner
 Farmer/vendor signage
 Access to media kit
 Reimbursement for monthly wireless fees and transaction
EBT fees
 Training
 On-going support from Farmers Market Federation of NY
What’s new in the program?
 Smartphone applications
for accepting SNAP
 Requires an iphone or ipad
with a data plan
 Piloting in NYS in 2013
with the goal of more
widespread usage
 Media Center
 Advertising and
promotional pieces
 NYS Farmers Market
Wireless EBT program
 Training presentation
 Participation Agreements
 SNAP Market locator
 Seasonality Chart
 Hints and Tips
 Links to additional services
 Fresh Tips Newsletter
 Resources for making your shopping experience successful
 Why shop at a farmers market
 How to shop at a farmers market
 Food safety tips for healthy consumers
 Hints and tips for your farmers market purchases
Additional Resources
 Cornell FMNP Team -
 WIC agencies –
 Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) –
 Department of Social Services (DSS)
 Nutrition Outreach and Education Program –
 Cornell Cooperative Extension –
Thank you!
For more information or questions,
please contact us:
Diane Eggert
Farmers Market Federation
117 Highbridge St, Suite U3
Fayetteville, NY 13066
(315) 637 – 4690
[email protected]